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NIMS, IICT scientists develop new technique to combat cancer
Friday March 21, 2014 8:35 PM, IANS

A team of scientists from Nizam's Institute of Medical Sciences (NIMS) and Indian Institute of Chemical Technology (IICT) discovered an innovative technique to combat cancer.

A team led by Vijay Kumar Kutala, associate professor of clinical pharmacology in NIMS, in collaboration with Srigiridhar Kotamraju, senior scientist from IICT developed the technique to deliver curcumin into the cell's mitochondria by tagging it with a chemical moiety called "triphenylphosphonium ion".

Curcumin, which is inherent with several medicinal properties, is an active ingredient of turmeric, which is part of our household for centuries, and its efficiency in cancer prevention is well documented by several research studies.

"However, its use in clinics is limited due to its inability to penetrate the cells. This novel process enhances intracellular uptake of curcumin many hundreds fold and is effective in killing the cancer cells without harming the normal cells," said a statement.

This research finding was published in the current issue of the highly reputed scientific journal "PLOS ONE" and was appreciated by the scientific community.

"This is a major breakthrough in the treatment of cancers, especially breast cancer, prostate cancer, cervical cancer and neuroblastoma cancers. This pioneering step in increasing the efficiency of herbal medicine through modern technology and delivery mechanism will immensely benefit mankind," said Kutala.

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